Descamisados, a term translated literally as the "shirtless ones," first used in a pejorative manner by Argentina's mainstream press on 17 October 1945 to describe the lower-class supporters of Juan Domingo Perón. Workers had gathered by the hundreds of thousands in the Plaza de Mayo to protest, successfully, the arrest of Perón, a symbol of working-class aspirations. They embraced the label and transformed it into a badge of honor that signified both their poverty and hard work. Perón himself first used the word publicly at a rally of the Labor Party early in 1946. At the end of his speech, he tossed his jacket aside and rolled up his sleeves. He, too, would be a descamisado, and Eva, his wife, would become a symbol of both their dignity and their close identification with the regime. The attention given the descamisados, however, obscured the multiclass character of the Peronist movement.
Samuel L. Baily, Labor, Nationalism, and Politics in Argentina (1967), p. 90.
Julie M. Taylor, Eva Perón: The Myths of a Woman (1979), chaps. 4 and 6.
Joseph Page, Perón: A Biography (1983), pp. 136-137.